Vancouver, Canada, has lots of options for celebrating Valentine's Day with your special someone. From traditional romantic escapes and family fun to "anti-Valentine's Day" parties that offer a unique alternative to the typical dinner-and-roses date, there's something for everyone in this west coast Canadian city.
You can take the opportunity to explore some of Vancouver's best bars, restaurants, clubs, parks, and events with your loved one and make Valentine's Day truly special.
Chocolate on Valentine's Day is pretty much a given, but that doesn't mean it has to be predictable. Treat your partner to new and extremely unusual hot chocolate flavors (like bacon!) at the 25 participating Vancouver chocolate makers and artisans during the annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival.
The Annual Hot Chocolate Festival takes for almost a month running, conveniently through February 14, at dozens of venues across the city. Participating stores, chocolatiers, and artisanal shops usually include the Bel Cafe; Diva at the Metropolitan Hotel; Musette Caffe; Soirette; Thierry Chocalaterie, Patisserie, and Cafe; 49th Parallel Coffee and Lucky's Doughnuts; and Chocolate Arts in Kitsilano.
If you're looking for something to do that is cheap and fun for all ages, you can't beat the free ice skating at downtown Vancouver's Robson Square. Take the whole family or make it a romantic night on the ice for two—though it may be a little crowded in the evening on Valentine's Day.
To make the mood even more romantic, the ice rink plays love songs and has lots of decorations set up just for the holiday. You can either bring your own skates or rent them onsite; skate rentals are just $4 while helmets and ice cleats are $2.
Dance at the People's Prom
The annual People's Prom is one of the most unique things to do on Valentine's Day in Vancouver. Not only is the People's Prom "the prom you never had in high school," as the website proclaims, but it's also inclusive of all genders and orientations. If you're looking for a "community-oriented, anti-capitalist, queer, cross-dressing, gender-bending, bike loving, slow dancing, big dress wearing, good time," the People's Prom welcomes all people—single and partnered—to enjoy the festivities.
The People's Prom will take place in the Eastside Studios on February 14, 2019, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are required to attend, and proceeds from the event go toward "creative resistance and direct action in British Columbia." The event often sells out, so reserve your tickets early; guests must be 19 or older to attend.
Although it may be a little cold on the water, you and your loved one can stay warm aboard the Pride of Vancouver luxury cruise ship this Valentine's Day. The Valentine's Day Dinner and Dance Cruise offers guests three hours of candlelit buffet dining, stunning waterfront views, and live musical performances.
Boarding for the dinner cruise will begin at 6:30 p.m. on February 14, 2019, and the boat will set sail from 7 to 10 p.m. Reservations are required to attend and cost upwards of $100 per person but include a glass of sparkling wine with your meal.
AddressVancouver Aquarium St, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
The Vancouver Aquarium offers adults a unique Valentine's Day event: a party at the Aquarium that includes special programs and activities as well as cocktails, beer, wine and snacks making it the ultimate date night. Entertainment for this year's Valentine's Day After Hours event includes a shark reproduction show, an animal sex talk with the aquarium's veterinary fellow, watching the sea otter feeding, an adult puppet show, and a special penguin walk.
After Hours will take place at the Vancouver Aquarium on February 14, 2019, from 6 to 11 p.m. Admission to the event is charged separately from regular admission to the aquarium, and guests must be 19 or older to attend.
Just across the street from the Commercial/Broadway SkyTrain Station, East Van's Rio Theatre is an ideal destination for adults over 19 who want something a teeny bit naughty on Valentine's Day.
Each year, the theater hosts an act called Burlesque Duos, which features duets with eight of Vancouver’s top burlesque performers.
AddressGrouse Mountain, North Vancouver, BC V7R, Canada
This year, Grouse Mountain will host three unique Valentine's Day events: a five-course dinner, a snowshoe trek featuring fondue, and a snowshoe tour that ends with making s'mores by the campfire.
Their Valentine's Day Dinner includes a five-star, five-course meal at the Peak of Vancouver Observatory featuring entrees of citrus-cured albacore tuna, almond gazpacho, roast fillet of ling cod, and AAA dry-aged beef striploin as well as a variety of vegetarian dishes and desserts. The special holiday menu is available from February 14 through 17, 2019, so you have a chance all Valentine's weekend to enjoy this delicious meal.
Grouse Mountain will also host two Valentine's Day snowshoe tours this year: one ending with chocolate fondue in an intimate setting and one ending with roasting marshmallows by the campfire. Both snowshoe tours are hour-long treks through the snow-covered forest of Grouse Mountain and will take place on both February 14 and 15, 2019.
Many of Vancouver's top spas offer special Valentine's Day couples packages, sometimes at a discounted price. If you're looking for a way to unwind with your loved one, there's no better place than a luxury resort or destination spa in the city, and fortunately, there are plenty of options in Vancouver.
You can get a special aroma vitality massage at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La or go to Willow Stream Spa in Coal Harbor to relax while taking in some of the best views of the city. Alternatively, you can bask in Middle Eastern opulence at the Miraj Hammam Spa in South Granville, which offers relaxing steam chambers known as hammam followed by a massage and exfoliation treatment known as gommage.
Savor Seafood on Granville Island
Granville Island is an ideal place for a Valentine's Day date. You can stroll the shops and galleries and visit the public market to do a bit of cheese and specialty food tasting. The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant is located next to the market under the Granville Street Bridge, overlooking False Creek.
They serve a variety of seafood from sushi and fresh tapas to lobster and crab cakes. From Thursday to Sunday, their lounge becomes into a trendy piano bar.
At Mt. Seymour, about 15 miles from Vancouver, you can go night skiing and then kick back at the casual Rock Chute Bar and Grill to relax over a cup of hot chocolate or share a brew and cheese plate.
A Valentine’s Day chocolate fondue and snowshoe tour are often scheduled on the weekend closest to Valentine’s Day.
The Vancouver Paddlewheeler Riverboat usually offers a 3-hour cruise in New Westminster on the Fraser River with a 3-course dinner on board. Stroll along the waterfront before boarding the M.V. Native, an authentic 100-passenger paddlewheeler for a relaxing river trip.
Take Tea at the Farm
London Heritage Farm offers a Valentines High Tea in their elegant little tea room on the weekends closest to Valentine's Day.
The farm, reflecting life in Richmond during the 1880s to 1930s, is a 4.06-acre historical site overlooking the Fraser River. You can see the 1890s restored barn with old farming equipment and stroll the surrounding grounds with specialty gardens.